The lead up to university is an exciting time. No longer will you be an awkward teenager, bound by the curfews of mum and dad, and unable to do what you want without permission. You’ll be an adult, studying a subject you genuinely love, meeting new people, making new friends, and doing whatever you want with your life. But when it comes to meeting people, taking a chance in your assigned hall or grabbing the first person you see in your first lecture to be your friend is a little too 2008. With the rise of social media comes a fabulous way to meet people and make friends before you even know your class timetable. And the majority of universities create a Facebook group now for each yearly freshers intake.
Back in 2014, when I was planning my move to university, I became so involved in my university’s freshers Facebook group, I ended up as an admin. Now, planning for my Masters, and in conjunction with the university I’ll be attending, I am the sole admin of another group. Overall, admin-ing a freshers group isn’t that hard. Just click the “accept member request” button, make sure no one selling essay writing services slips through the net, join in the conversations where necessary, and remove anyone that starts to cause offence (i.e. the weirdo that joined every freshers group on Facebook to start preaching that women shouldn’t be allowed to go university – yup, that happened once!).
Opening up a group for incoming masters students on a very small campus is much different to opening one up to the undergraduate freshers intake of a large, city university. Incoming undergraduate freshers are young, haven’t tasted freedom or responsibility yet, and haven’t been weighed down and/or broken by the crushing reality that is university life. Expectations do not equal reality, and some real characters come out and make an impression. Getting back into the excitement of meeting new people, and hitting restart on that student life thing, has brought back memories. So I’m here to share some with you, because this nostalgia needs to be expressed!
And let’s be honest, you can almost definitely relate!
Disclaimer: Whilst some of the personalities listed below are inspired by people I have previously interacted with, they are not aimed solely at one person, and are not meant to offend.
The One that Adds Everyone
Request to join the freshers group. Get accepted. Breathe. Oh look; a friend request!
This person adds anyone and everyone that joins the group. Make one move and you’ll be added to their friend list. This person is mostly harmless, and just eager to be friends with everyone. They may send you a friendly “hi”, which will probably fizzle out into a meaningless conversation about how you are both good, and nothing else. They reply to everything posted in the group, don’t understand sarcasm, and post about 8 different opinions on any given topic to make sure they agree with everyone. They might try and put the entire group into a group chat, which is a poor idea that will never work. Come the start of term, they make a small group of friends and you eventually delete them because you still don’t actually know who they are…
The One that Adds all the Women
Very similar to above, accept he won’t add any of the men in the group as friends. There’s usually a few of these, and they will instantly send you a message. Usually a smooth “hey”. And they’ll continue to do that, every day, until you delete them.
The Ladies Man
Much like above, but a little less creepy. Can be regularly seen leaving flirty replies on the comments of various women in the group, asking them what they like and complimenting them. Essentially, they want to pull, and they will do it before they get to university! They will wait until they gauge genuine interest from you before they slide into the DMs though!
The One That Doesn’t Go Out
And doesn’t think you should either.
They don’t drink. They don’t go clubbing. And hey, that’s fine. But you should probably assume your housemates will. And trust me; they will get mad and post passive aggressive tweets about how loud it is when their flatmates drink. They really thought all students dedicated all their time to academic pursuits, and evenings at uni would be lovely conversations about the course material and creating flashcards to help each other study.
Can be found in the freshers group talking about their life goals and how everyone who goes out partying isn’t taking it seriously enough.
The Party Animal
Doesn’t seem to know what degree they’re taking. Only cares about the parties.
Come freshers week, they will post every night to find out where the nearest flat party is. They don’t seem to have any friends. If you’re having a party, it’s best not to let them know. They’ll turn up, bring a whole load of people you don’t know, drink all your booze, and throw up in your shower.
At the end of the year, they’ll be contemplating dropping out, because they didn’t realise being a student actually meant studying.
The “Cool” Guy/Girl
This person thinks they are an absolute boss, and that their opinion is golden. Ask about a bar, club or venue, and they’ll suavely tell you it’s not that great, and not to bother.
Except it’s not suave at all. They hate everywhere. And think they’re right. They’re usually a few years above you, think they’re class undefined because they don’t drink VKs, and like to complain. After a while you get the feeling they spend their Friday nights drinking craft beer, stewing in a corner at home and revelling in their “awesomeness”.
They also love starting arguments online.
The One Who Doesn’t Even Go Here
They stir the pot, slag off the uni, and make no sense until one person actually checks their profile and realises they’re attending a different uni. After that get’s pointed out, they disappear.
The One Who Shares Too Much
It’s very sweet that you’ll miss your little baby cousin, but we don’t need to see an entire album of pictures. Nor do we need to know about the blanket you’ve had since childhood, that you really want to bring but are worried you’ll lose or damage. Or about your skin condition you need medication for. Maybe don’t post about this to strangers on the internet?
They’ve worked a full time office job, have kids, have a career plan, and seem to actually know what their doing. Who is this person? Is this adulting? I need to learn from them!
Their child is attending the university, but for whatever reason has not joined the group. They however, have.
They are the definition of overbearing, and need be sure little precious won’t be bullied. They also demand that the university gives their special little snowflake a first, without caring to acknowledge their child needs to put the effort in themselves.
The special little snowflake in question won’t go near the group. Probably because they are too embarrassed to identify themselves.
The Political Leader
This person has some strong, and somewhat strange, political opinions. And you’re going to hear about them. If you don’t agree, prepare for a lecture on how you’re wrong. The rich have too much money, and need to be controlled! The war in Iraq was a conspiracy theory! The Royal Family are all reptiles! I AM RIGHT, GUYS!!!!!
The One Who Doesn’t Know Why They’re There
At some point the million dollar question comes up: Why did you choose your degree at this university? The myriad of answers can be really inspiring. But then there will always be a few like this:
“I don’t know. My parents really wanted me to go to university and they’d be really disappointed if I didn’t.”
They are, quite sadly, lost. They chose a subject they do okay at in school, don’t know what they want to do with their life, and seem to only be there because going to university is the done thing.
Remember, parental pressure is no reason to go to university. If you don’t want to go yet, don’t let them make you!
The Master’s Student Who Isn’t Leaving
The university must be amazing, because this person doesn’t want to leave. They are your point of call for all things university. Where are the best bars? What are the best clubs to join? Did you actually enjoy your degree?
Come graduation you’ll be wondering why they put themselves through another year…
The Master’s Student Who’s Just Arriving
There’s no group for people who actually know what university is like. So here I am…
The Club Promoter
Similar to the one that adds everyone, except they have a job that is based on getting as many people through the nightclub door in their name as possible. Don’t forget, the hottest parties only happen where they work. They’ll set you up with a nice table and a few drinks half price, maybe. And they’ll definitely post a new flyer in the group every day.
The One That Knows Nothing
What day does term begin? Where is registration? Where do we apply for accommodation? How do you get to the university? What degree am I studying?
This person will post a new question every day, that they probably should just Google.
The One That Knows Everything
This person has an answer to every question. The library opens at 9am and closes at 8pm. There are 4 cafes on campus that cater to vegans. Having UCAS trouble? They know how to fix it.
They are basically the unspoken king/queen of the group, and everyone loves them.
The Overzealous Admin
Usually in conjunction with one of the personalities listed above, they maintain order. Expect sometimes, they can let that power go to their head. Disallowing party promoters, businesses, and even university staff into the group, for fear of them “ruining it”. Whether they want to see only parties spoken about in the group, or don’t like to drink and want the group to be a place of intelligent learning, they will remove people and delete any post they simply don’t like. In the end, a fight starts, they have a bitch, and end up sulking because the rest of the group doesn’t agree with them.
Come actual term time, and it doesn’t matter, because everyone leaves the group to hang out with their new friends.
I always recommend joining a freshers Facebook group, as they allow you to make connections before getting to university, and will give you a huge boost of confidence in the long run. But as with all things involving huge groups of people online, some characters really emerge, and the most prolific have been listed above.
Did you join a freshers Facebook group with some strong characters in it? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!
Pinterest: @Word of Rachel